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Life in the slow lane at Living Choice Fullarton

Damien Hein serves a coffee to Ross Sweet at Living Choice Fullarton.

Ross Sweet, Chairperson of the Residents’ Representative Committee at Living Choice Fullarton, describes how residents are adapting to a slower paced life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This normally vibrant village of some 140 apartments has been “slowed to a walk” with the increasing restrictions of the current coronavirus pandemic.

On any normal day, the village is buzzing with activity, in the cafe, coffee shop and restaurant, filled with both residents and outside patrons. Weekly music, usually provided by outside musicians, is well-attended, as are art shows, fashion parades and cabarets. Many activities, aimed at maintaining the fitness of residents, take place in the gymnasium, pool and the auditorium.

We now face a major change in the atmosphere of those common areas with restrictions in place as a result of Government attempts to restrict the spread of the virus.  Living Choice Fullarton has acted responsibly to these changes in consultation with the Residents’ Committee.

One of the most confusing aspects is that the Government restrictions change day by day and it is a challenge to keep up with what is required. Overseas travel self-isolation, interstate travel self-isolation, social distancing, border closures, unavailability of tissues, toilet paper, hand sanitiser and surface antiseptic wipes. This is a very significant test for our older residents.  Fortunately, our village manager has kept us up to date with almost daily communication.

Today, our restaurant is closed to the public along with the coffee shop - shades of WW2 rationing! However, take-away meals and room service is still available to residents – how lucky are we.

As trying as all this is, it is heartening to see that most residents are able to keep up with changes and remain cheerful. Free sanitisation of cars is available from one generous resident - he insists that the car is unoccupied when he does it!

The “vertical” nature of this village (two towers) makes it easier to watch out for those residents self-isolating.

Would living elsewhere be better?  It is not easy to think of another place where residents could be secure and among other like-minded folk.  For example, before the new restrictions of two people to a gathering, about 20 residents, accompanied by a trumpet, stood on the bowling green and sang “Happy Birthday” to a disabled resident looking down from her balcony.  Where else would this happen with such goodwill?

At the time of writing, the village seems virus- free.  It behoves us all, with management, to work to keep it that way.